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Living in Germany: Citizenship reform delays, Men's Day and no air con

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Living in Germany: Citizenship reform delays, Men's Day and no air con
A gardener of the Herrenhäuser Gardens in Hannover waters a flower bed at the Georgengarten while eating an ice cream. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Julian Stratenschulte

In this week's roundup we look at Germany's new draft citizenship law, Ascension Day traditions and what to expect when the temperature rises.

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Dual citizenship reform delay a setback - but change looks set to come

Many foreign nationals in Germany are eagerly awaiting the planned citizenship law changes being worked on by the coalition government. So it came as a setback to find out this week that they are likely to come slightly later than we’d hoped.

As The Local has been reporting, the draft reform was originally expected to be debated in the German parliament in April, with parliamentarians hoping that it would pass by summer. However, it has been delayed due to longer-than-planned reviews by the cabinet and changes to the draft, meaning that the proposed law will now likely not be debated in the Bundestag before autumn.

After the Bundestag passes the new law, Germany’s upper chamber, the Bundesrat would also have to pass it and civil servants at immigration offices would probably have an implementation period, meaning it’s not clear exactly when the new rules would come into effect. Despite the delay, parliamentarians say the law will come into force.

“With the new citizenship reform, Germany will play in the Champions League,” said Social Democrat Hakan Demir. “German citizenship will be possible not after eight but five years. We will make multiple citizenships possible.”

Tweet of the week

We admire the creative thinking, but we can’t help but think Germany went too far with this snack.

Where is this?

Photo: DPA/ Thomas Warnack

Ascension Day or Christi Himmelfahrt is also Father’s Day (Vatertag), or Men’s Day (Männertag) in Germany. On May 18th, lots of men were out and about enjoying it, like this crew in Riedlingen, Baden-Württemberg. Many German men (and some women too) get out into nature and take part in “gentlemen parties” (Herrenpartien) while pulling along decorated Bollerwagen (handcarts) filled to the brim with food and booze.

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Did you know?

We are getting a little taste of summer this weekend in Germany, and it could mean that many people start digging out their fans from the cellar in preparation for the warmer months ahead. But one thing you won’t find in Germany is much air conditioning.

Unlike other parts of the world that blast the air con leaving rooms feeling like refrigerators during hot weather, Germany (and much of Europe) does not embrace it. So what can you expect, then? When the temperatures climb there will be sweaty and uncomfortable U-Bahn rides with your fellow commuters, unbearably hot offices and super warm cafes and bars.

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If it does get too hot, then some businesses and schools declare hitzefrei (literally heat free) and close for the day. Prepare now by grabbing your own at-home fan (if you don’t have one already) and an umbrella to shade your balcony. But there’s no getting out of sweating in public places.

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